Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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EXAMS 2020

Student Exams Handbook 2020-21

Exam Results and Appeals Policy 2020


This year’s results are unlike any other year and therefore the normal procedures are not the same. There has been a huge amount of media coverage over the last few days in relation to your results. Firstly, we would like to congratulate you on your achievements. They are remarkable, especially in such difficult circumstances!

We are aware that you may have a number of questions in relation to your results and we would ask you all to read the questions and answers below.

How are my results different from previous years?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown of schools, examinations had to be cancelled this year. All schools were asked to submit centre assessed grades and ranking for all students in all qualifications.

What are centre assessment grades?

Centre assessed grades are the GCSE grades that we sent to the Examination Boards.  To decide your grades, we had to go through a very rigorous process.  Your teachers had to use their professional judgement to estimate what you would have achieved in the GCSE examinations. 

How have my centre assessed grades been calculated?

All of your teachers were involved in a very thorough process to award your centre assessed grades. Teachers looked at your performance in mocks, coursework and other activities and graded you. They then discussed your performance with their Curriculum Leader to ensure they had awarded the realistic grade for you.  This was important as the Curriculum Leader had to ensure that all members of staff in his/her department were following the same rigorous procedures to set the grades.

How can I be sure they are accurate for me?

Your teachers went through a very thorough process of grading and ranking you. The grades and ranking were then moderated by the Curriculum Leader, line manager from the senior leadership group, Mr K Brown as Head of Centre and Mr Bell as CEO.  Our job was to ensure that the centre assessed grades took into account the historical performance of the subject at our school and your prior attainment at Key Stage 2.

Are centre assessed grades the same as my target grades?

No – centre assessed grades are an objective prediction of your performance in your GCSE examination. Target grades are aspirational targets to encourage the very best progress. Target grades are based on your performance in SATs at the end of Year 6.  Target grades are compared with actual GCSE grades to measure a school’s performance.  We were able to use a range of assessment evidence to provide centre assessed grades using the national guidance set out for all schools.  

What if my grades are not what I thought they would be?

You need to trust your teachers. They know you best and they have a wealth of experience in teaching GCSE students of all abilities. They have all used their professional knowledge of you and the examination system to award your centre assessed grade.

There is an opportunity for you to re-sit your GCSEs in November. If you want to re-sit your GCSE(s) please speak to Mrs Reynolds (Examinations Officer - The deadline for entries is 3rd September 2020

Can I appeal a centre assessed grade?

Centre assessment grades have already taken into account all of the evidence on your performance. The only grounds for appeal are:

  • A clerical error on behalf of the centre or awarding body
  • You have evidence of bias or discrimination in your centre assessed grade

We are confident that neither of the above two points are applicable. Please note that you cannot appeal directly to the exam board yourself.  Therefore, please contact the school to inform us if you are not happy with the outcome based on the above two criteria.

I had a difficult time during my GCSEs, was this considered?

Whilst we have every sympathy with a student who has difficulties during their GCSE years, we have to follow examination board rules, which are very strict.  When awarding grades, we did consider potential examination special considerations (such as extra time etc) but we are not allowed to improve grades based on an individual’s personal circumstances.  The exam system is not designed that way.

Can I use my mock grade instead of my awarded grade?

Unfortunately not.  This was the impression that the media gave but it is not the case.  The government has confirmed that there is no option to use mock grades following their decision to use centre assessed grades.

What are my next steps?

  • If you are coming to BWH Sixth Form please read the letter enclosed with your results. We are really looking forward to welcoming you on Wednesday 2nd September.
  • If you are moving on to the next phase of your journey please confirm where you are intending to study with your Pastoral Lead.

Please click on the link below to find out more exam awards this year.